Joseph Reisert’s column on March 25, “Pain from budget cuts inevitable, but do we have a choice?” misses the mark entirely.

He claims that there really is no alternative to our governor’s proposed budget. That budget would cut state employee benefits, “reform the state’s welfare programs” (which apparently is another way of describing huge cuts in social services) and raise income and estate taxes by a modest amount.

Of course, we have a choice. We always have a choice.

The choice we are making now is to continue tax policies that allow the rich and upper-middle class maintain their standard of living and policies that present an uncertain future to everyone else.

We justify this with a theory that this tax policy will somehow spur economic development and that economic development will in turn raise the poor to a higher standard of living.

Well, the facts are in, and the evidence is clear: This hasn’t worked for the past decade. Shouldn’t we give it up and try something else?

The answer to Reisert’s question, “What, really, is the alternative?” is this: Let’s reconsider our tax policy so that is does a better job redistributing wealth from those who have more than they need to those who have less than they can live on.

Alison Webb


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